Pitching for tighter intellectual property protection in India, US Trade Representative Michael Froman has said that the country needed to enforce a world-class IPR regime and deal with issues such as piracy, counterfeiting, trade secrets and compulsory licensing.

While lauding the Narendra Modi Government for showing some positive signs on the policy front, Froman added that much more needed to be done and that the US was “cautiously’’ optimistic.

‘Long way to go’ “A number of projects have been approved and foreign equity caps in key sectors such as defence and railways have been lifted. But we have also seen certain tariffs increased, and there is a long way to go on reform,” he said, addressing an industry meet organised by industry lobby FICCI on Monday.

Froman is in India for the US-India Trade Policy Forum, which he will co-chair with Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday.

On the recent breakthrough between the US and India on the issue of food security and trade facilitation at the WTO, he said that it would not have been possible without the involvement of US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Modi.

“In fact, I just got a message from my Deputy in Geneva that the two countries are working side-by-side as we speak, literally, today in Geneva, to build support among the other WTO members for the package of agreements that we agreed to,” said Froman.

US view At a roundtable with industrialists from the Confederation of Indian Industry, the US trade representative also talked about the need to dilute local sourcing norms, especially in production of solar energy; overcoming regulatory challenges and making mobility of high-skilled labour smoother.

Dwelling on the issue of intellectual property, a key focus area for the US, he said that his Government had great interest in the ongoing review of India’s IPR Policy.

If India is to play a leadership role in the knowledge economy, it has to deal directly with challenging issues such as patents, copyright, trade secrets, piracy, counterfeiting and compulsory licensing, he added.